This is what the 'dozens of strange moving lights' were in the skies over Lancashire last night

Around 30 bright, white lights were seen moving in a straight line in the skies above Lancashire last night.

Monday, 20th April 2020, 12:20 pm
The Starlink satellite train in the skies above Lancashire last night. Pic: Simon King

We might be living in strange times, but at least we can report that we're not being invaded by a fleet of marauding alien space craft...just yet.

But if you'd been gazing at the night sky last night, you might have spotted a long line of white objects cruising through the cloudless sky.

The bright lights, seen moving in formation, are the work of Silicon Valley billionaire Elon Musk.

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Known as Starlink, they are a satellite constellation sent into space by the tech entrepreneur as part of his Space X mission to eventually colonise Mars.

If you had been gazing at the sky at around 10pm (April 19) - looking south-west to east - you would have witnessed around 30 of the satellites sailing through the night.

Like something out of a science fiction film, Musk's satellites are part of a privately funded space project that aims to send spaceships to Mars to help colonise the Red Planet.

But for now, the satellite constellation will be used to provide constant, high-speed internet access to users around the world.

The Starlink satellites captured through a series of stacked exposures last night. Credit: @foxyknoxy99

The internet satellites operate in low orbit, 341 miles above Earth, and much lower than traditional communications satellites.

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There are currently 362 Starlink satellites in orbit around Earth, with another 12,000 planned to be deployed in the next two years.

Eventually, Musk says there will be thousands of the mass-produced satellites orbiting Earth.

Elon Musk - the billionaire brains behind Space X and the Starlink satellites

It means the sight of thousands of bright, moving lights will become common in the night skies over Britain.

It has even been suggested that the satellites might have been mistaken for a UFO sighting over Preston Prison in February.

And colonising space doesn't come cheap. Just ask Mr Musk.

A Space X launch in California - Elon Musk's privately-funded space project aims to one day colonise Mars for mankind

The 48-year-old, who has a net worth of around $37 billion, said the total cost of his decade-long project has been estimated at an eye-watering $10 billion.

If you missed the spectacle last night, don't worry.

The satellites will be flying over the UK and visible from Lancashire until April 24.

So keep your eyes on the skies folks!

We'd love to see your pictures of the Starlink satellites over Lancashire. You can share them in the Facebook comments or send them to [email protected]